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Mom, I have cancer. OK, I don’t have cancer. I have a blog. And I’m still gay.

April 29, 2010

I’m in the closet – again.

And something tells me that coming out as a blogger to my family might be much more awkward and traumatic than telling them I’m bisexual.

Helen of New Zealand reads my blog to her cat, Abbey.

When I started “Alone … with cats,” although I confessed to seeking a book deal and dates, I’ve secretly been gunning for critical acclaim, a marriage to a rock star and world domination. Until I achieved at least one of those five milestones, I saw no real reason to come clean with my parents about the blog, wherein I talk about my sex life or lack there of. I prefer to have them think of me as a wholly asexual being. Regular readers know that approximately 365 days out of the year I *am* a wholly asexual being. And now that I’ve built a blog around my frustratingly chaste existence, I owe it to readers to stay a spinster. In hindsight, I really didn’t think this through all that well.

But recently, there have been some stirrings abroad. First, Helen from New Zealand e-mailed me a photo of her pretty kitty. And then a few days later, in response to my rant about assy America ruining my chances of finding love and getting laid, Jo recommended I might fare better in Britain. Then The General piped in:

“Ah, Jo- you forget to mention the Scotland vs. England and Wales vs. everyone else as well as the north vs. south. Even if she lived here in Blighty, she might still have the same problem, if she lived in Hampshire and met someone who lived in Aberdeenshire!”

I don’t even know what that means, y’all.

(Times like this make me wish I could pull off saying “y’all,” y’all.)

What I do know is that, ready or not, the blog has indeed gone global and I prematurely may be forced out of the closet. This morning, I began embarking on an 18-hour, round-trip car ride to Asheville, N.C., with my mom, and I literally may be driven to divulge my secret life as a blogger to fill the endless, painstaking hours en route to our destination. Otherwise, our conversations will mimic our phone calls of late:

Mom: How are you, pumpkin?

Me: OK.

Mom: What’s new?

Me: Nothing.

Mom: Is everything all right?

Me: I’m fine.

Mom: What are you working on?

Me: Things.

It’s as if I’m a brooding teen again. And that got me thinking, my life isn’t really that much different now than it was 15 years ago. In the mid-1990s, I took lame vacations with my parents, wasn’t dating anyone and stayed up late chatting with Elton John fans thrice my age from around the world on America Online. You probably wish you were me. In 2010, I’m taking a trip with my mom despite my better judgment, perpetually and woefully single and gabbing about my cats with strangers on Twitter. The only major difference? Whereas before I could wax poetic about my eternal love for an aging, flamboyant, bespectacled British sensation, now when I tweet about Teva and Isabel I’m truncated to 140 characters.

If my life were a movie, it would be “The Lion King.” Except I’m not a cartoon lion. And my uncle hasn’t killed my father by shoving him off a cliff into a herd of stampeding wildebeest. And I wasn’t born to be king, although that’s nothing a few invasive surgeries, hormone therapy and a marriage to a princess couldn’t fix. Otherwise, the similarities are uncanny. Like Simba, I tried to outrun my fate, but I’m finally learning to embrace my destiny as a queer, cat-lady blogger. Very Lion King-y, just with less savanna, more cyberspace and roughly the same number of cats. Next to the definition for “The Circle of Life” in the dictionary, you’ll probably find my picture. *If* there were an entry for “The Circle of Life” in the dictionary. There isn’t. But there should be. Because then my picture would be in the dictionary. I’m pretty sure that counts as a book deal.

If history repeats itself for my second coming-out, Mom will be in the driver’s seat barreling down a highway in rural Virginia at 75 m.p.h. During an uncomfortable lull in conversation, I’ll tell her in a hushed voice that I’m a blogger. She’ll keep her eyes on the road and be uncharacteristically silent, pensive. After a long pause, she’ll whisper, “Can I tell your father?” I’ll say, “No.”

And then she totally will, y’all.

(Huh. See what I mean? I just *cannot* say “y’all” convincingly.)

This entire post was sort of just an excuse to sloppily superimpose my and my cats' heads into a scene from "The Lion King." You guys really just enable me most of the time.

P.S. Because of travel plans, I will be vigilantly tweeting but likely not updating this site for the next week. I’ll be trapped in an SUV for several insufferable days with my early rising, chatty mother, who is high-strung, randomly befriends strangers and has a penchant for smooth-jazz music. This isn’t so much a vacation as it is a test of my patience, the middle-class equivalent of waterboarding and research for my scathing, tell-all memoir. Please stay tuned.

30 Comments leave one →
  1. April 29, 2010 9:40 AM

    I read that as “vaginally Tweeting”. Sorry.

    • April 29, 2010 9:47 AM

      I probably wouldn’t be single if my vagina could tweet. Also, my talented vagina would have more followers on Twitter than I do now. Also, I wonder what my vagina would tweet about. Probably the weather.

      I’m going to stop talking about my vagina now.

      • Lisa permalink
        April 29, 2010 12:26 PM

        The weather? Like how it’s always warm and muggy?

      • May 4, 2010 9:01 PM

        I think if my vagina could tweet it would talk about how hungry it is. For ice cream. Or cupcakes.

  2. April 29, 2010 10:00 AM

    I think we have the same mom…separated at birth… all I can say ABORT! ABORT! ABORT mission!!! does she like garage sailing?

    • April 29, 2010 10:02 AM

      um… yeah… garage sale-ing. hey, i can’t be accountable for the educational system here. i didnt make it just went thru it therefore my conclusion is its not my fault i spelt that wrong 🙂

      • April 29, 2010 10:28 AM

        OMG. My mom has never met a garage sale she could pass on. I’ve always wanted a sister, Meagan. Or I’ve always wanted to get rid of my brother. One of those things.

  3. Laura permalink
    April 29, 2010 10:18 AM

    I fear the day my Mom finds out I have a blog. Right now her computer skills seem to be limited to finding recipes on kraftfoods, playing solitaire and browsing Martha Stewart’s website (“it’s a good thing!”)… lord help me when she starts branching out. Or I mistakenly mention that I put personal stuff about them online for the whole wide interwebz to read. That will be a dark day….

  4. April 29, 2010 10:44 AM

    1. I plan on spending the next few days at bookstores and libraries writing definitions of “Circle of Life”, complete with your photo, so that you CAN cross book deal off your list. Also, then you can get ME a book deal, and then we can fight, like Norman Mailer and that other old white guy [Gore Vidal?] and be really, REALLY bitchy at each other in the press, like when US Weekly interviews us about our latest screeds.

    2. I also read “vaginally tweeting”. There’s something in the water here.

    3. I will follow you on Twitter. If I can figure out how.

    4. About 10 years ago, I issued a moratorium on car rides with my parents. After a 4 hour [I first typed year – THAT tells you something] car ride to Chicago, during which my mother hissed my father’s name at him for alternately driving too slow, too fast, too left, too right, too shiny, etc., and my father sat there, driving and smoking and turning up the radio. BEST ROAD TRIP EVER. I almost stayed in Chicago.

  5. April 29, 2010 11:39 AM

    Ooooh. Trapped in the car with your mom for hours on end. Dreams really do come true!
    Incidentally, I’m also sailing on the good ship Celibacy at the moment. My mom used to interrogate me with meaningful pauses, so I would make things up. Filthy things. She has learned to cherish the awkward silences now.

  6. April 29, 2010 12:15 PM

    Your mom sounds like my mom! Minus the jazz. My mom violently hates jazz, but mostly because my dad loves it. (They’re divorced. Jazz may or may not have prompted it.) And I’ve totally hoped MY blog would bring me fame, red carpets, backstage passes and/or a tiara laden encrusted with jewels. These things have not happened…..yet. (Or they have, but only in my mind, which people assure me doesn’t count.) Good luck and have a great trip with your mom! (My mom routinely announces that she doesn’t have time to read my blog, and then I tell her my best friend’s mom ALWAYS does, and then my mom gets snippy and threatens to stop babysitting because “Katie’s MOM can do it!” It’s good stuff.)

  7. April 29, 2010 12:23 PM

    my mom reads my blog. and comments. and then emails me further comments. then texts to see if i got the email. then calls because “she cant read my mood over text.”

    i suggest you avoid mother-readership. it can’t end well.

    • April 29, 2010 2:17 PM

      Agreed. My mom reads my opinions, tells me her own, and when I respond, she ignores it and pretends the whole exchange never occurred. Plus she’s easily offended and has no qualms about telling me. PLUS she takes everything I say literally and has more than once staged an intervention because she sincerely thought I was an alcoholic. Mom readership is a drag.

      Also, I’m surprised no one has said this already, but this is the first time I’ve seen your picture (if that is your real face), and YOU ARE SUPER-CUTE and I would totally date you.

  8. April 29, 2010 12:30 PM

    Staying a spinster for a blog….now that is crazy cat lady talk. No one in my family knows I blog, except my gf. She knows. Luckily she doesn’t read my blog.

  9. Carolspy permalink
    April 29, 2010 1:00 PM

    I think I love that picture more than life itself.

  10. April 29, 2010 2:03 PM

    Hmm, smooth jazz? Smooth jazz saxaphonist David Sanborn once gave me his phone number on an airplane. I kept it, because I was pretty sure that was the closest I would EVER GET TO A “CELEBRITY” EVER GIVING ME THEIR PHONE NUMBER, sadly, I was right. I will give it to your smooth-jazz lovin’ mom if she promises not to tell your dad about the blog. Oddly, he also included his home address. She could stop by for a visit!

  11. April 29, 2010 5:02 PM

    I completely love your blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Have a safe trip and remember “be nice to your Mama!!!” oh and “O-H-I-O”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. meredith permalink
    April 29, 2010 6:44 PM

    hey, lookit! my twitter dearest, what a photo! what a face! i luurves it. also: my mother often sends me ridiculous and/or frightening things on the internets in order to GET me to blog again, and about her. also: staging bizarre experiences such that i will have fodder for the writing. eeeek.

  13. April 29, 2010 11:53 PM

    I had to keep re-reading your paragraphs, because I was 1) wondering which of the five goals you have achieved … my guess is world domination (?), and 2) wondering how the hell we have the same mom and have never met … hmmm it WOULD explain the midwest thing … although I say if you’re going to come here, the only place to be is Chicago… No one else would look at you funny if you said y’all. We would. 🙂 BTW i dig the cat / your head pics. If I were gay or bi, I would so go out with you!

    • madeaclay permalink
      May 4, 2010 1:42 AM

      Definitely world domination… one cat, one blog, one tweet at a time.

  14. April 30, 2010 1:05 AM

    I am glad we enable you – if we didn’t, my days would be boring and I’d actually get work done *yawn*.

    Abbey says Mrow, row, prrrrup – which I think from my rudimentary understanding cat-speak is:
    “I iz on teh compootez in Amurica? I iz Famuss.”

    (Though really, I imagine it was more like “feed me human-slave”).

  15. The General (aka: Mommy) permalink
    April 30, 2010 4:44 AM

    I never understand what I say, either. Which is why I pray to the god of proofreading every night. She has seriously let me down recently though, I think I need to find something to sacrifice.

    I told my family about my blog and then regretted it when my crazy aunt kept sending me emails asking for the address, and then emailing me to ask me if we are going to church and to tell me she’s praying for me. Then a month later she’d email me asking for the address again. I think she gets so upset about what she reads she deletes the link, and then feels guilty.

    Enjoy your kool-jazz infused road trip!

  16. Roxanne permalink
    April 30, 2010 9:51 AM

    I told my mom I write for a blog: bad decision! She provides half of my comments and they are all either pages long or along the lines of “this is great sweety”….YUCK! Watch out!

    P.S. Sooooooooo glad I don’t blog about my sex life or lack thereof. I would get no peace from the lady! Good luck!

  17. April 30, 2010 1:38 PM

    World domination and marrying a rock star are wonderful things to aspire to…….. although you cant have Eddie Vedder. He is ALL mine!! But you might not want him? OH FUCK…. too soon?
    Love the blog btw… Im totally adding it to my blog roll!

  18. lacey permalink
    May 2, 2010 1:28 AM

    holy shit, HOLD EVERYTHING. do you always look like tina fey, or is that only when your head is photoshopped onto a lion’s body?

  19. May 4, 2010 5:27 AM

    Bottom line; we have too many “shires” in Blighty – and not in a Tolkeinesque way.


    I can’t even *try* to get away with saying y’all, because a) I’m English and therefore not allowed to say cool sounding words, and b) I have a typically twonky middle-class accent.

    I rock, y’all.

    Also – you really do look like Tina Fey!

    Ooh, also, there’s something about being a Mum/Mom that gives you the uncanny ability to befriend strangers. Sometimes, I wonder if my Mum is actually some kind of secret celebrity.

    Did I cover all the “also’s”?!

  20. The Minx permalink
    May 5, 2010 2:20 AM

    You are completely cute! One thing though, would you purr if I scratched behind your ears? I also can’t stand the idea of camping and break out in welts from those damn mosquito bites (and NO ONE else who is out with me gets bitten!). I live in the god-forsaken Midwest– perhaps we could form a support group for the geographically challenged who have Mothers-Who-Know-Too-Much-For-Their-Own-Good…
    The Minx
    P.S. I would definitely date you, if you like slightly older women!

  21. May 7, 2010 12:17 AM

    I agree with y’all! My mom and all her friends read my blog. I once blogged about all the unprotected sex I was having with Vietnamese men while traveling. They ALL emailed concerned. Please– if I was really having unprotected sex with Vietnamese men, I would surely be either freaking out about possible embryos forming inside me or spending my time learning how to say ‘harder’ or ‘fuck me, you war hero’ in Vietnamese. Either way, I would not be blogging about it.

  22. May 8, 2010 6:48 PM

    You do really well with “y’all” as far as I know.

    Just stumbled on your blog from the bloggess’s blog.

    And yeah, you rock, btw.

  23. June 17, 2010 11:47 PM

    I read your tweet and was all “frick, now she thinks I’m a terrible online stalker” – then as I was typing the title of the post into your blog’s search engine the meaning of the title hit me and I was like “frick, she has cancer? I truly am a terrible stalker.” Then I hit enter and the post came up and I realized I’ve actually read this post, making me, if possible, an even worse stalker.

    I mean, what’s the point in stalking if you don’t commit all photographs/fake cancer announcements to memory?

    p.s.~ Honestly, because I have this weird thing where I tell the truth all the time, even in those situations in which nobody should because the other person is clearly just looking for a lie/hoping you’ll commiserate about this one time a guy treated her like crap and you barely know her, so who are you to start questioning details, I can’t help myself. Except in the case of when my friends ask me to do things that require activity and being out late and interacting with new people, then I’ll shamelessly lie about exams/plumber appointments/surgeries.

    Where was I? Oh yes, I had actually forgotten your name was Jessica. In my defense though, you’re only Alone With Cats *everywhere* and I legitimately call every every single guy I met through my friends “boy” as I can’t remember anyone’s name. I just forced myself to memorized sharon’s boy’s name b/c they’re engaged and it seemed weird to write Sharon & Boy on the card. Not to mention in the speech at the reception. I even blank on my close friends’ names half the time, and then get annoyed when the person I’m speaking with can’t guess who I mean by context.

    And with that hot mess of a comment, I’m going to bed.

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